Cover Image: Alpha Bots

Alpha Bots

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was vulgar and sexualised and very very strange. It read like a terrible cliché porn from the olden days but in a futuristic setting. Which was perhaps the point and I managed to miss it entirely. But it was just not an enjoyable reading experience.

I tried again, with the audiobook. While I did somewhat enjoy the plain narration moments, the narrator raised and lowered her voice to indicate the difference between female and male characters, something I did find myself struggling with a little bit. On top of that, production added reverb effects for the AI bits which made those parts wholly unlistenable. So I once again put down this book, and I won't be picking it back up again.
Was this review helpful?
I felt like the plot gave me whiplash. It started off slow, accelerated, slammed on the breaks, accelerated... you get the idea. I'm really into stories featuring sentient AIs so I was really excited to get into this one, but unfortunately it fell short. Off I go for another playthrough of Detroit: Become Human to fill the hole this book left.
Was this review helpful?
This book is definitely unique and the first part had me hooked. Just after 3/4 of the way through, I did find myself losing interest but I can’t exactly pinpoint why. 

The ideas in this storyline are really intriguing (AI perfect housewives rebelling against their husbands and starting a fight club? How could it not be!) but there was a slight disconnect between how the ideas and how they played out. 

I did still enjoy this book and I’m hoping to read more of Lock’s work in the future.
Was this review helpful?
This is a very weird book. If you're looking for off-the-wall, bizarre AI robots that act and think like humans then read this book it was a grate book and i read it in one day
Was this review helpful?
I ended up hating this book and got into a rather large netgalley slump. Where I didn't want to review arcs for a while when reading this. I stopped when I was only thirty percent in though! I do hope to reread it at a given point just to see if it wasn't my thing then. I hope to hear feedback from other readers as well.
Was this review helpful?
This was a bit too wierd for me. I tried to go along with it for a long while. Some parts were interesting, but it was too much wierdness and i really hated how Norman was and that it seemed so acseptable that he could do whatever he liked with these bots even though they had feelings and whatnot. But when Cookie was in this fight club with Maggie, it seemed just out of place. Very random, and speaking of: Wade was random too - it didn`t feel like he fit into the story...just filled in.
Was this review helpful?
This is a very odd book. If you're looking for off-the-wall, bizarre AI robots that act and think like humans this is for you. I want to say our lead gal is a bit like Murderbot, but the reality is that she is not nearly as clever, witty, or interesting. I'd say this is the sub-par sister series to Murderbot. Ava Lock has given us the Stepford Wives meets I, Robot meets Handmaiden's Tale meets Fight Club. And yes there is a literal Fight Club at one point. 

The Plot
Surprisingly for a bit of a silly book the plot is fairly complex. I won't go too far into it as there are spoilers that would ruin the first 100 pages or so but essentially all the women in the town are AI bots whom are in service to the men. And yes when I say 'in service' it's quite literal. There is some sexual actions that take place and so this is one for mature readers only. 
From there we learn that our lead gal can be freed from some of her protocols (enter I, Robot), and the way to make that happen fastest is by fighting (enter Fight Club). Really the premise of the entire Alpha Bots story feels like a number of pop culture references stuck together to make it's own odd, but unique world. 

The Message
There are a lot of different messages and morals you could infer from Lock's writing here. The largest is easily that men are pigs. But the core of this story, and substance lies in the motivation for why humans do what they do. Imagine a robot that has protocols; it knows what to do based on a situation. For example: husband in bed turns over and starts kissing, to the bot this equals sex. Dishes are dirty in the sink, to the bot this equals clean them. But what happens when the protocol is stripped away? Now you are in a situation where the AI is choosing what to do. So we wonder how do humans decide? Generally with our emotions. Maybe some logic, or based on societies standards; but let's face it how many of us have said to ourselves "I don't feel like doing X." This is determination by feeling/emotion. And so a true AI would need to have emotions:
”Why would anyone give a computer feelings? It seems like a major design flaw.”
“Emotions help you set your goals. Every you feel drives your decision-making process. That is how you prioritize... Your heart decides what truly matters.”

This is not a stellar book. I won't lie, it's fairly silly, at times ridiculous, and certainly a 'light' read. But it's got moments that will make you think (like any good science fiction). There are actually times where I stopped reading and considered a concept that Lock had alluded to. While I want to say I loved this; I was just along for the ride really. It was a good palate cleanser and perfectly mindless for the week I got a new 10 week old puppy introduced to my house (as chaos ensured, and continues to ensue today). 
So if you want some sci-fi, woman power fiction. Grab this one. If you miss out on it; that's okay. You know this story likely; just in bits and pieces of others over the years. 

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.<
Was this review helpful?
An attempt at irony, but unfortunately just an uncomfortable read. This novel tries to balance humour with overt sex but feels far too cosy with the misogynistic tropes it hopes to challenge. Ostensibly: Stepford sexbot trundles towards autonomy in a clunky bildungsroman.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book I have read by Ava Lock and am grateful to the publishers for letting me read an ARC. The story intrigued me from the start, a revisit to the Stepford Wives but solely from the view of one wife who is aware that she was an artificial life form.  The book addresses many themes including misogyny, feminism, romance, dominance and non-hetero relationships.
Was this review helpful?
Book Review: Alpha Bots
Author: Ava Lock
Publisher: Semiscope
Publication Date: March 20, 2020
Review Date: November 25, 2020

From the blurb:
“In the near future, artificial intelligence will be in every home. She will be whatever you want her to be. That’s right. You can have a charming womanoid do all your cooking and cleaning for you. Just think. No more chores! She can be your wife, a nanny to your kids, or just the housekeeper. It’s all up to you.

Just set your user preferences.

But first, this amazing technology has to pass alpha testing.

One robot woman, Cookie Rifkin, keeps failing. She needs to figure out how to control her anxiety, but her husband set his user preferences too low for her to learn. He just wants a pleasure robot, but she keeps fighting her programming.

Will Cookie ever fulfill her potential?
Or will her story end in another fatal error?”

“While exploring sensitive gender issues, ALPHA BOTS manages to maintain the page-turning tension of a technothriller, making it the perfect book club book. The works of Philip K. Dick, William Peter Blatty, and Isaac Asimov are directly referenced and fully integrated as plot points. The narrative also mashes up content from Ira Levin's "Stepford Wives" and Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" brilliantly. “
I think the author bit off more than she could chew. The plot was not coherent; it rambled all over the place. If you will look above at the blurb, this is a mash-up of the well known and well written sci fi books listed above. However, there is not a real plot or a real story in Alpha Bots.  It’s just a hodgepodge of ideas, and references to other famous science fiction works. 

The characters were not believable; the dialogue was juvenile, as were the characters. I can see that there was a desire to explore important current topics such as AI and gender. However, the author just couldn’t pull it together. I’m not sure this book was edited by a professional. If not, that might help in the future. 

I give it about 2 Stars, and a highly do NOT recommend. If you are curious about the book, see if your library is offering it. Do not waste your money buying this book.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me access to the book. 

This review will be published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon.

#netgalley #alphabots #avalock #ai #gender
Was this review helpful?
A little disjointed at times, but over all very funny. I really enjoyed the writing and the more character driven speculative fiction aspect, and the campy humor that was sprinkled throughout. I think where it falls short is that there is a large reliance on the reader being familiar with various science fiction narratives from different medias (film, prose, etc.) in order for this to be understood as a feminist satire.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars. What if the Stepford wives rebel against their oppressive husbands……..fight club style? Well, then you end up with this book. This book is a satire on so many social issues and it does so with a bizarre mixture of robotics and violence, and a big wink to several sci-fi classics.

The book is about Cookie a robotic housewife whose settings are set so strict by her husband that she has no freedom or free will at all. Until she meets a cop, Maggie, and an unknown man, Wayne. From that moment on she realizes she could be a free woman, but she has to want to break free herself and this is not always easy or painless (emotionally and physically). I won’t go further into detail to avoid spoilers, but the first part of the book strongly adhered to the “Stepford Wives” and “Fight Club” storylines, whereas during the second part of the book the story completely breaks free. 

I love “new” technology in sci-fi books, only I have this thing that I want to understand (or try to understand) the tech that is described and I want to believe that this tech could be possible sometime in the future. Some of the tech in this book sounded wonderful, but I struggled to see how it was possible. For instance, there is this recyclone device. You can throw something in it and it breaks it down to the atomic level of the material. Ok, I get that and I believe there could be possibilities to do that, but then if you think really hard, you can also create anything you want with this machine and this is where I got lost. How is this possible? Obviously, this is not so important for the storyline and it’s more of a pet peeve of mine, but I just had to mention it for those tech lovers out there. 

There is a LGBTQIA label on this book, which is one of the reasons I decided to read it, but I have to say that, even though there is LGBTQIA representation, the content is rather minimal. 
I’m still not completely decided on how I feel about this book, I was intrigued throughout the entire book and really wanted to continue reading, but at the same time it unsettled me at more than one occasion, which reduced my enjoyment of the book. The book also changed direction a few times, which sometimes made it difficult for me to follow. That said, this is a book that I will remember, so I round up my rating to 4 stars.

This book is not for everyone, it’s dark, gritty and violent, but at the same time completely over the top and funny. If you’re looking for a story that advocates equality and diversity and you like the Stepford Wives, Fight Club, the bloody Tarantino style or the craziness in Trainspotting then I recommend reading this book.

I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
Mixed feelings. It was a hell of a ride, it went up and down like crazy and I still can't say - do I like this book or not?
I started loving it because female AIs becoming self-aware, starting a revolution against men and forming a female Fight Club? Yes! Give me more!
Then I reached multiple parts over the book which... Well, I wasn't a fan of. Paula's death, for example. Maggie turning out to be the villain. Wayne. I did not like Wayne. I am sorry for everyone who did but for me? Nope. I was actually rooting for Cookie x Maggie throughout the book.
Now, would I recommend it? For a selected group of people who is interested in feminism, but also liked Fight Club. I am probably not going to read the second book. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't great either.
Was this review helpful?
this was a really enjoyable scifi novel, the characters were great and it was really well-written. I look forward to more from the series and author.
Was this review helpful?
Best way to describe this one is deliciously weird in all the right ways. On point with the character development and story, a really interesting take on the Stepford Wives concept. The way Maggie and Cookie's relationship and personalities evolve made this book for me.
Was this review helpful?
Alpha Bots was an absolutely wild adventure. Without spoiling too much, it's Stepford Wives meets Fight Club, brushing up to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep along the way.

Cookie is a perfect housewife with a few secrets (and a hefty banana bill) who finds herself in the centre of a an experiment.

I found this such a fun read and laughed aloud more than once. It's dark and violent at times, but is overwhelmingly just a great adventure. There's a chapter by chapter trigger warning list which may be a real help to some readers.

It's got social criticism in spades and it's just awesome to see something like the Stepford Wives from the point of view of one of the AIs. 

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publishers for hi icing me this ebook advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
It was intense in parts, graphic in some, and overall thought provoking. Still not sure how everything came together but I could easily see this happening once AI comes together. Glad I came across this book.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in exchange from an honest review.

I typically dont read LGBT or Sci- fi type of books, but still enjoyed this book. It had an really original concept, female android models are build for the sole purpose to be someone's wives. They are used to cook, clean and for sex. The minute they bring more trouble than pleasure, they are allowed to be killed off.

What happens when they become jailbreak and are allowed to overide user restrictions?
Was this review helpful?
"Alpha Bots by Ava Lock is an interesting mystery, that will leave you guessing on what will happen for the majority of the story. It has great humor and character development. I love stories that seem fresh, and this is definitely one that I haven't read something similar to before. It has LGBTQ representation and I really liked that, I appreciate more books are coming out with representation.

**Received as an ARC for honest review thanks to Netgalley and publisher for the opportunity**
Was this review helpful?
When I first read the blurb for this book I was fascinated and wanted to know more, yet as I got started on Chapter 1 I really struggled to connect with Cookie and ultimately became frustrated with the language used and the misogynistic undertones. Based on other reviews I'm lead to believe that this story does indeed pick up and is entertaining, I however have had to admit defeat.
Was this review helpful?